Court orders in divorce cases are legally binding and outline specific responsibilities and obligations for both parties involved. When an ex-spouse violates a court order in Texas, it can have serious consequences. In this blog post, we'll discuss the potential repercussions of violating a court order and the legal steps you can take to address the situation.
Understanding Court Orders in Divorce:
At the completion of your divorce, you will have a Divorce Decree that has been signed by the judge. It is very important that you understand the document and that you have discussed it with your attorney before finalizing the divorce.
Common Violations of Court Orders:
Here are a few of the most common violation of Court Orders, in particular a Divorce Decree.
Failure to Pay Child Support: This violation occurs when a parent fails to make court-ordered child support payments on time and in the specified amount.
Interference with Visitation or Custody: Violations can occur if a parent denies the other parent court-ordered visitation or custody rights.
Disobeying Property Division Orders: This violation involves actions such as not selling real property or closing bank accounts by the date ordered in your Decree.
Non-Compliance with Spousal Support Orders: When a spouse fails to pay court-ordered spousal support or alimony, it is a violation of the court order.
Consequences of Violating Court Orders:
Civil Contempt of Court: Violating a court order can lead to a finding of civil contempt. The court may impose fines, require compensatory visits, or order the individual to attend counseling or parenting classes.
Fines and Penalties: The court can impose monetary fines on the individual who violated the court order as a penalty for non-compliance.
Modification of Orders: The court may choose to modify the existing court order to prevent future violations. Modifications could include adjustments to visitation schedules, custody arrangements, or support payments.
Make-up Visitation: If visitation rights were denied, the court may order "make-up" visits to make up for the lost time.
Enforcement Actions: The court can utilize enforcement mechanisms to collect overdue child support, such as wage garnishment, tax refund intercepts, or suspension of professional licenses.
Legal Recourse for the Violated Party:
File a Motion for Enforcement: The violated party may have grounds to file a Motion for Enforcement with the court, detailing the violation and requesting appropriate relief.
Gather Evidence: It is important to collect evidence of the violation, such as correspondence, witnesses, or any documented proof of the violation.
Violating a court order in a divorce case in Texas can have serious consequences. If you find yourself facing a violation or need to address one, it's essential to take the appropriate legal steps promptly. Please contact Deitchle+Simone for further information.
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